Sunday, 3 March 2013

French-Week 8: Pork Wellington!

When I saw this week's recipe Fielt de Porc Wellington in class, the first thing jumped into my mind was, Oxford! I still remember the first time that I had beef Wellington. It was in the summer of 1999, when I attended a summer school in Oxford, England to study English. School usually finished around 3pm on weekdays, and after that my friends and I would spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around on High Street, shopping, taking pictures, and of course, snacking on local food like Fish and Chips, pastries, and Wellington before heading back to our host families for the real dinner. So as you can imagine, I was pretty excited to recreate the food from my memories this week! If you are like me and wondering why a traditional British dish showing up in a French cooking class, you would find this inconclusive explanation on wiki:

"Some theories suggest beef Wellington is named after Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington; other theories go a step further and suggest this was due to his love of a dish of beef, truffles, mushrooms, Madeira wine, and pâté cooked in pastry, but with a noted lack of evidence to support this. Other accounts simply credit the name to a patriotic chef wanting to give an English name to a variation on the French filet de bœuf en croûte during the Napoleonic War."

British or French, the important thing is, Wellington tastes great!! And it takes a lot less work than I thought it would. Here's how:

1 pork tenderloin
300g Puff pastry
half onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1.5 lb of mushrooms (about 2 boxes), pureed by food processor
1 egg
butter, salt/pepper

1. remove the silver skin/fat from the tenderloin
2. rub salt and pepper onto the surface of the meat
3. add butter into a pan, brown both sides of meat, and let it sit aside

4. in a second pan, add olive oil, sweat the onions
5. add chopped garlic
6. use a food processor to make a mushroom paste, and transfer the paste to the pan with onion/garlic
7. sweat the mushroom paste, and evaporate off the liquid that comes out of the mushrooms
8. adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
9. let the mixture sit aside and cool down

10. take Puff pastry out of the freezer right before use (it's hard to work with when it gets warm)
11. lay a layer of mushroom stuffing
12. place the browned tenderloin on top of the stuffing
13. roll the pastry and fillings into a log. 
14. brush the pastry on the edges with eggwash so that they will seal up. Cut off extra pastry. 
15. Brush the surface of the log with eggwash. Bake at 375F for 40min. 

* make sure you let the log rest for a few minutes before you cut it up, or the pastry will collapse. 

Pork Wellington

Because I had some leftover mushroom stuffing and extra button mushrooms, I decided to make them into stuffed mushroom caps and served them on the side. 

Stuffed mushroom 
1. add oil in a pan, sweat 1/4 of chopped onion
2. add the mushroom stuff to pan, mix with onion (if you don't have the pureed mushroom from the Wellington, you can chop up the mushroom stems and use them instead)
3. let the mixture cool off for a bit, then add them into 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese, mix well
4. stuff the mushroom caps with the mixture, grate parmesan cheese on top
5. bake at 375F for 20min
6. garnish with curly parsley


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